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Almost a Third of Americans would End a Relationship if the Sex wasn’t Satisfying

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How important is sex in your relationship? Is it a deal-breaker if you and your partner don’t see eye-to-eye in the bedroom? According to a recent poll, nearly a third of Americans say if they didn’t have a good sex life with their partner, it would cause them to break off the relationship.

The study was conducted by website DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing the data to accurately represent the U.S. population.

Men are definitely more invested in a good sex life than women, with 33% saying they would end a relationship over unsatisfactory sex, compared to only 22% of women.

In addition to gender, the study broke down the data according to marital status, sexual preference, race, age, income, and geographic location.

Divorced people were more likely to respond in the affirmative than those who were still married. More than one in three divorcees said they would leave relationships that provided unsatisfying sex whereas only one in five married respondents did.

Gay men and lesbian women were 50 percent more likely to leave a sexually unsatisfying relationship than straight men and women – higher than any other group. Thirty-eight percent of African-American men and women would discontinue a relationship if they weren’t happy in the bedroom, which is three times the rate of Asian-American men and women.

In terms of age, older people were more likely to choose to stay in the relationship (24% ages 65 and older) compared to their younger counterparts. Interestingly, those ages 35-44 were the most likely to leave the relationship at 32%, compared to those aged 18-24 at 29% and 25-34 at 27%.

Geographic location doesn’t seem to play a role in how people feel, with the Northeast, Midwest, West and South about equally comfortable with the idea of breaking up with a partner over unsatisfying sex. Income however, does seem to influence the decision, with those earning $125,000 or more (about 21%) finding it more difficult to break up over an unsatisfying sex life compared with those earning less (averaging about 30%).

Gina Stewart, a Dating Advice expert, said sex is a crucially important component of a relationship to many Americans. “While some think satisfying sex between two lovers can be developed, others believe sexual chemistry either exists or it doesn’t,” she said. “This study mirrors those attitudes, with a significant portion of people either unwilling to work at an unsatisfying sex life or believing such a relationship is doomed.”

Online Dating Doesn’t Just Save You Time – It Saves You Money

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A lot of people love online dating because of its convenience. It's hard to beat being able to scan through potential matches from the comfort of your own home, entirely at your leisure. Traditional dating can be found, but it can also be a huge time suck. Sometimes all you want is an efficient way to weed out the frogs from the princes (and princesses).

Online daters already know that dating websites are a great way to save time, but it turns out they're also a great way to save money. Couples who meet online tend to marry after a shorter period of time than couples who meet in real life, meaning that a courtship that begins via the Internet ends up being thousands of dollars cheaper than meeting and wooing someone offline.

According to market strategists at New York City-based ConvergEx Group, the average dating period prior to marriage for a couple who met in real life is approximately 42 months. Let's do some math: if that couple goes on one date per week, and that date costs around $130 (for food, drinks, entertainment tickets, etc.), then the total cost of that couple's courtship would be around $23,660.

The average time between meeting and marriage for couples who meet online, on the other hand, runs around 18.5 months. The average dating site customer spends $239 a year for online memberships, according to ConvergEx Group, and if we assume that the amount spent on dates is the same, an online dater saves $12,803 in comparison to an offline dater.

And what if the dates go Dutch? In that case, each online dater saves just over $6400. Not too shabby at all!

But, just because it's more acceptable, easier, and less expensive for people to meet online doesn't mean more US citizens are using dating sites to meet marriage partners. According to the Pew Research Center, only 51% of Americans were married in 2011 – a significant drop from the 72% who were married in 1960 – and the numbers are continuing to decline.

ConvergEx suggests that the trend could be in reaction to the high divorce rates seen throughout the 1970s and 80s. “Seeing their parents and/or friends’ parents go through a divorce has made today’s young people more cautious when it comes to finding a mate,” they say.

Many more of today's young people are putting their careers had of relationships, making them less reliant on a spouse for support and possibly also contributing to the decline in marriage. Marriage rates are reportedly also dropping faster among people with less education. "Declining marriage rates among those with lower levels of educational attainment is a warning sign that is worth watching," says ConvergEx, "especially if the trend continues."

New Match.com Singles in America Study Released

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The results are in from Match.com and their annual Singles in America survey, and it seems that people are still looking for happily ever after when it comes to relationships.

Match.com surveyed over 5,000 singles to find out what they think about dating, love, sex and relationships today. The biggest find? Technology is changing how we meet each other and also how we date. The majority of singles met their last date online (31%) rather than through a friend (only 25%). Also, 29% of singles use video chat to communicate with a date. It turns out they want to see if there is a little virtual chemistry before they agree to meet in person.

It's no surprise however that women are pickier daters than men. The study found that the majority of men will date a woman who is more successful and makes more money than they do, or is more educated. However, the majority of women won't date a man who is less intellectual or shorter than they are.

What about turn-offs? Most singles judge their dates by how confident they are and by their teeth. It's also a turn-off if a potential date has bad grammar or uses text speak when sending an email. Most daters prefer someone who comes across as more educated.

A bit of advice for men: no sexy selfies! This is the number one turn-off for women. And for the guys? Don't text so often, ladies. If he doesn't respond, avoid sending two or three more texts to get his attention. This is the number one turn-off for guys.

Social media is another sticking point as far as turn-offs go. Avoid airing your dirty laundry and venting over Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. It is the number one social media turn-off for both sexes!

Another big take-away from the study: be kind and respectful. One hundred percent of women and 98% of men value being treated with respect in a relationship and make it their number one priority. In addition, a whopping 97% of singles are turned off when a date is rude to the waitstaff at a restaurant and 96% are turned off by bad table manners. So mind your manners!

The best news? People are still romantics. Eighty-nine percent of singles surveyed agree that you can live happily ever after with a partner. And despite how much people seem to be hooking up, and the majority of singles are looking for commitment and want to get married.

For more information on the service that brought us this study you can read our review of Match.com.

Does Anybody Care About Valentine’s Day Anymore?

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Confession: I’m one of those irritating people who, every February, talks about how Valentine’s Day is a crock of you-know-what because it shouldn’t take a special, sickeningly sweet, Hallmark-y holiday to remind you to love your partner. Every year it gets hipper to hate on Valentine’s Day, to the point that the scales almost seem poised to tip back in the other direction. In 2015, will the cooler-than-thou kids have to start celebrating V-Day instead of condemning it? What a strange world that would be…

Though the anti-Valentine’s Day forces are loud, it seems that most of us are secretly celebrating anyway. eHarmony asked 3000 people if they had plans for Valentine's Day 2014 and about 64% of them said that they would be spending the holiday with someone special. Here’s what they had planned (or not):

  • 17% of people said they had not planned anything at the time of the survey (which was done only three days before Valentine's Day!).
  • 6% said they had put a lot of planning into the event.
  • Most people, unsurprisingly, fell somewhere in the middle – they’d put at least a little bit of thought into the holiday, but weren’t going all-out.
  • Men were the romantics of the bunch. While women were more likely to say they had done very little to no planning at all, men were more likely to say they had done a fair amount of planning or a lot of planning for their valentine.

Good news for married folks: marriage may get a bad rap for dulling the spark, but the damage – at least where Valentine’s Day is concerned – is seriously overstated. Couples who were dating exclusively were most likely to have plans, at 89%, but at 82% married couples weren't far behind. Couples who were engaged were the least likely to have made any plans, perhaps because they’re too busy planning their weddings.

When the big day finally arrives, here’s what we’re up to:

  • 37% of people head to dinner with their honeys.
  • 26% prefer a romantic dinner in.
  • 18% skip the dinner half entirely and go straight to a movie date.
  • 71% of people plan to give their valentine a gift (79% of men, 65% of women).
  • Women ranked their gift preferences like this: flowers (17%), jewelry (16%), intimacy (17%), a card (12%), and a spa day (11%).
  • Men voted strongly in favor of intimacy as the ideal Valentine's Day gift (40%), but next in line was a card (11%).

And for all the naysayers, eHarmony also found that the biggest reasons people say they celebrate Valentine's Day are romance, connection, and genuine enjoyment of the holiday.

ChristianMingle & JDate Release The Second Annual ‘State Of Dating In America’ Report

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If the state of dating in America in 2014 was summed up in one word, it would be "open-minded."

ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com have teamed up for the second year in a row to bring you inside information on what it means to be single and dating in the United States in the 21st century. The second annual State Of Dating In America report explores the ever-evolving public opinion on sex, infidelity, gender roles and other controversial issues. It also delves into the ways mobile technology is affecting and changing societal norms of courtship and relationships.

"In today's modern world there are so many factors contributing to blurred lines and mixed messages when it comes to dating and relationships," says Rachel Sussman, a Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who partnered with ChristianMingle and JDate to analyze the findings of their study. "I see clients every day who are struggling with how to navigate muddled waters in a new or long-term relationship, and this study by ChristianMingle and JDate confirms these issues exist across the country."

The big news coming out of those muddled waters this year is that singles are becoming more and more open-minded when it comes to gender roles, dating expectations and infidelity. Singles have accepted that infidelity isn't always a black and white issue. Shades of gray are an inevitable part of being in a relationship:

  • 86% of men and 92% of women consider having sex repeatedly with another person to be cheating.
  • 82% of women and 56% of men believed sexting or online flirting is infidelity back in 2013. But this year the number of women who believe that flirtatious messages count as stepping out dropped significantly to 86%, while the number for men dropped slightly to 51%.
  • In 2014, 90% of women agree that passionately kissing someone else is cheating. In 2013, that number was 100%. Men's opinions reflected women's shifting views: 86% considered passionate kissing cheating in 2013, compared to 75% in 2014.
  • Cheating isn't always a dealbreaker. Nearly a quarter of singles say they would consider marrying someone who is unfaithful to them while dating.

Attitudes toward gender roles are also evolving in major ways. Fewer men believe that they should be the primary breadwinner in a relationship, and fewer men believe it's their duty to pick up the tab on a date. We are, apparently, increasingly confused about whether or not we're actually on a date or just hanging out with someone casually, but we're also increasingly open to the idea of dating online.

94% of respondents say online dating expands their dating pool. Two out of three singles know people who've met through online dating. And 85% of singles say they believe online dating is completely socially acceptable.

For more information on the dating sites which conducted the survey you can read our Christian Mingle review and our JDate review.

New Study Shows Confusion Among Young Daters About What is a Date

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Do you know when you're on a date and when you're just hanging out? If you're confused about the difference - you're not alone. It's getting harder and harder to tell for a lot of singles.

According to a new study by Christian Mingle and JDate, there is a lot of ambiguity. Their online survey of 2,647 singles of varying ages (18-59) shows that 69% of respondents are confused about whether an outing with someone they're interested in is a date or not.

Maybe the confusion comes in with the definition of a date. According to the data, only 22% agree that "if they ask me out, it's a date," whereas 24% think it's a "planned evening with a group of friends."

So why all the ambiguity? According to the study, technology might have something to do with it. Fifty-seven percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say texting has made it more difficult to determine whether an outing is an actual date. But among older daters, that isn't necessarily true. Only 36% of 35-44 year-olds think that texting has made it more difficult.

The ambiguity isn't gender-specific either - both men and women generally agree. Mostly, opinions vary by age. The younger the dater, the less likely he or she is certain whether or not it's a date.

"In today's modern world there are so many factors contributing to blurred lines and mixed messages when it comes to dating and relationships," says Rachel Sussman, Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who analyzed the results of the study. "I see clients every day who are struggling with how to navigate muddled waters in a new or long-term relationship, and this study by ChristianMingle and JDate confirms these issues exist across the country."

Expectations for men to pay on a date seem to be declining, too. Only 69 percent of men say the man should foot the bill for a date (vs. last year's study of 78 percent). This might be part of the dating ambiguity issue, too, because if the outing isn't clearly defined, there's no need to offer to pay as a gesture of affection or chivalry.

While singles might not agree on what constitutes a date, they do overwhelmingly agree (by 85%) that online dating is a socially acceptable way to meet people. Also, two out of three know couples who have met through online dating sites. Ninety-four percent believe that online dating expands their dating pool.

While the definition of a date might be more and more ambiguous, it seems that online dating is gaining more and more acceptance as time goes on. We'll see what the results say next year.